Have you ever been to a conference or convention and you were really hoping to run into a specific individual? Maybe a speaker or fellow attendee that you thought would be an incredible business partner or collaborator if you got the chance to sell them on a great idea?
If this sounds like a situation you have experienced before, you more than likely happened to run into that key person in a less-than-ideal circumstance. Maybe you ended up randomly washing hands next to each other in the restroom or catching an elevator together between sessions. Even if these don’t seem like stellar locations for business, a great “elevator pitch” can get the ball rolling for you and lead to greater things. Here are 3 tips to making the most out of a minimal moment:
1. Make a conversation out of your pitch: For supreme effectiveness, start the conversation with something based on the surroundings where you are, a promotional item he or she is wearing that you’re familiar with, or another point to draw a connection. Connections are the sparks to a great conversation!
2. Recognize and interpret reactions: If you can tell that the other person is engaged and following the conversation, that’s your chance to get more specific with what you represent. Use that moment to emphasize what you do well and ask connecting questions that will continue to keep the conversation engaged in both directions.
3. Be memorable and follow up: Elevators typically do not take very long to reach their destination, so be prepared with a way to extend the conversation. If the conversation has revealed a business need, offer to talk more and gather some contact info. If the other person comes across as cold or disengaged, offer a promo item with your contact info on the way out. A unique promo item can often be a conversation re-igniter if fate gives you a second random meeting with that same person.
All in all, this hardly guarantees a long-lasting partnership with someone you just met, but it never hurts to make a lasting impression whenever the opportunity may arise. I can say this from personal experience- You never know when or where you will meet an amazing ally!